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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Preparation Thursday

This week has been one of serious conversations and thoughts. My birthday made me face some feelings and thoughts I didn't even know were brewing under the surface.

For one, I've been facing some feelings of inadequacy and failure. I'm twenty-six now... I was twenty-two when I graduated college. That means I'm approaching having spent as much time since college as I spent in college. And as far as the outward things go, not much has changed since I graduated. I'm unemployed, unmarried, car-less, broke, and living with my parents.

I've had three jobs. I'm with a different guy. I've had lots of cool experiences. And I am definitely a different person. God had stretched and grown me.

But I admit I'm not so grown that it doesn't rankle me. I want something different. I want change. It's coming... but if you'd asked me four years ago I'd have said it was coming. In many ways it's been four years of waiting.

Of course, it's when we wait on the Lord, more so then when we act with the Lord, that growth comes.  God has been preparing me for my future with Him. But when I think of the fact that I've almost spent as much time out of college as I did in it, and I think of how much happened and how much I changed during those four blessed years at Converse, I  realize I look at these four years and it just seems like an extended (wayy extended) summer break. I'm still waiting for the "school year" to start. I don't literally mean I'm waiting to go back to school, but this seems like the unreal part.

So, this has inspired some impatience in me. I've been saying things to Ryan like "Let's just get married!"  Honestly, I'm 100% convinced Ryan is the one, and I just want to be married to him.

And this week Ryan and I have been tossing all sorts of possibilities around. My mom has been putting pressure on us to have Ryan come here to visit instead of me going there. We don't really have the money even for one pre-married visit, but we have faith we can find it. We've been thinking I'd take it that is that I'd go to India to visit. Since I'm moving there I don't really want to move sight unseen. I want to be able to mentally and emotionally prepare from having seen it...

However, since we really don't know if we can even afford that, we certainly can't afford two visits unless a miracle happens. So Ryan won't meet my family and friends. He won't see where I grew up, where I'm from. He won't visit my church and my Bible Study family. But we wish he could...

And Ryan is thinking (and Mom applying pressure doesn't help) that maybe instead of me going to India, he does come here. And it's not a horrible idea.

And I think, if Ryan is coming here, I'd want to have a wedding.

Not a legal one. Maybe not even a real one, that is, perhaps it'd be like a ceremony to bless our future union, not one where we exchange vows. After all, this could be months before our legal wedding in India. But it's been breaking my heart to think of getting married without my parents there.  So even if it's the first time Ryan and I see each other in person, and even if he only visits for two weeks, I think I'd want a small wedding thing. Something at my church with perhaps hotdogs afterwards. Nothing has to be that big, but I want my dad to walk me down the aisle. I want to have my friends and sisters stand up with me. I want my mom to be there.

Then I mention it to Mom and she freaks out at the idea of planning that kind of deal without having met Ryan first.

Grr!!!!

I feel insulted. People act like I'm doing something stupid or dangerous. Look if I was rich, Ryan and I would have met a long time ago in person. But we're not. 

I'm not a reckless person. I have never been arrested. I've never done drugs. I've never gotten drunk. Why do people persist to think they have to caution me like I'm ruining my life because I'm planning to marry my wonderful of almost two years who loves Jesus and me? 

I do know that marriage is serious and sacred. Believe me. Ryan does too. We're talking about it, reading books preparing for marriage. We plan on going through pre-maritial counseling both with my church and his. It is not our fault we are 8,000 miles apart. But God did bring us together.

God even told us, when we prayerfully asked, to get married "sooner" rather than "later".  I'll tell you about it if you want.

We're not reckless. We are prayerful. We're not crazy. We're careful. I'm twenty-six years old, not sixteen. Respect that and understand I'm not driven by hormones or fairy tales but by faith in Christ and love of a dear, sweet man.

So please if you love me, support us. God has a unique path for each of us and I think some of those who struggle to support me struggle because my path is so different from what they are used to, or even what they'd hoped for me. But this is my path and I am happy to walk it. God walks alongside us.

If you don't support us... well, I'll pray about it. But it's getting harder for me to deal with. I love you too.

So that's what's been coursing through me as I prepare this week.  A bit different from other Preparaton Thursdays.

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